FORM The Sculpture Show: Art Meets Nature at Sculpture By The Lakes, Dorset [AD Press Trip]

FORM The Sculpture Show: Art Meets Nature at Sculpture By The Lakes, Dorset [AD Press Trip]

This review of Sculpture by the Lakes is so kindly courtesy of Darren North East PR

Dear enchanted ones,

Peaceful as it is popular, the breathtaking Sculpture By The Lakes near Dorchester in the county of Dorset is an unspoiled wilderness surrounded by the meandering River Frome, where you can truly envelop yourself in the serene and tranquil lakes that inspire this much-loved destination’s name.

Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that Sculpture By The Lakes has been described as one of the most beautiful and unique sculpture parks in the UK!

This Spring, this stunning location is the home to FORM; The Sculpture Show from the 30th of March to the 29th of May 2022 where art meets nature around the 26-acre park with monumental pieces in the main gardens, with smaller works that are shown in the Gallery and Sculpture Courtyard.

The FORM; The Sculpture Show exhibition seeks to place, view and enable you to purchase sculptures from award-winning sculptors across a breadth of styles and mediums in the most tranquil and beautiful of settings.

Regular readers will perhaps know that I have visited this gorgeous spot many times and for your reference, my previous visits can be found here in this handy archive for you to enjoy after reading about this latest visit.

Most recently, my Spring visit is with profound thanks to both Sculpture by the Lakes and Darren Northeast PR for allowing me to attend this latest exhibition.

Art Meets Nature at Sculpture By The Lakes

“The way sculpture interacts with its environment, changing with the light, the weather, the seasons, means that where you experience it is vitally important. Putting large-scale sculptures in a museum or gallery diminishes their power, but in a beautiful, natural environment, that power is restored; they come alive. That was one of the reasons I started Sculpture by the Lakes many years ago, and why this was such a successful event last year. It is a rare and special opportunity for sculpture-lovers to see and enjoy the works of some of the best sculptors from across the UK together in one place”.

Simon Gudgeon, Sculptor and owner of Sculpture by the Lakes

How does art meet and inspire nature? And vice-versa.

Well, this is exactly what sprung to mind as I immersed myself in the FORM; The Sculpture Show exhibition.

Moreover, I was truly enchanted by the above words from Simon Gudgeon, Sculptor and owner of Sculpture by the Lakes, and his beautiful description of the symbiotic relationship between the sculpture and the nature that surrounds his artistry.

Simon Gudgeon (born 1958) is a British sculptor specialising in large pieces for public display, usually in bronze, but also sometimes glass or stainless steel who alongside his world-famous sculptures, also created Sculpture by the Lakes as an expression of his love for the beauty and wonder of nature.

As I set off in two weeks to record the debut workshop for the Academy Of The Enchanted Arts called ‘Claude Monet’s Enchanted Paradise’, the symbiotic relationship between art and nature is something deeply present on my mind!

Just like Simon Gudgeon’s mastery at bringing art and nature together in his sculpture, Claude Monet’s work is also steeped in a reverence for nature.

Monet’s words echo this time and time again: “The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration”, and in addition, “I do what I can to express what I feel in the presence of nature.”

But it’s not just Simon Gudgeon and Monet.

From time immemorial, artists have sought to use art as a way to explore the world of nature.

In fact, some philosophers including Aristotle once proclaimed that art can in fact mimic nature.

For Aristotle, nature is the embodiment and a true reflection of the artist’s inner soul.

Aristotle even once wrote that, “art not only imitates nature but also completes its deficiencies”.

With this in mind, what makes Sculpture by the Lakes so special is that each sculpture has been meticulously positioned in just the right place on the grounds to enhance the aesthetic qualities of each piece.

As a result, the FORM; The Sculpture Show exhibition exemplified that art is not only recreating the natural world, but that the placement of the sculptures aids in seeing nature in another light. Or indeed, using the art as a language in which to bring a voice to the nature around it.

This is so abundantly clear in many of my favourite sculptures by Simon Gudgeon and a plethora of other incredibly talented artists.

As I meandered around the grounds, and the myriad of paths, I was utterly captivated by the magical light and shade that danced on the sculptures that were mirrored in the blissful surroundings.

It’s beyond special to be in the presence of artwork that so masterfully reflects your enchanting surroundings, and this is one of my favourite things about this exhibition.

My FORM The Sculpture Show Gallery Exhibition

After a delicious lunch in the Cafe By The Lakes (this truly deserves a post of its own!), I wandered inside the Gallery where the FORM; The Sculpture Show continued with smaller sculptures and weaved the intricacy and beauty of the large-scale pieces by Simon Gudgeon into other pieces like jewellery.

Ending my visit in the Gallery was a further serene moment where the world continued to slow down for a few peaceful moments, and where the artwork around me could refresh, revitalise and ready my own creativity for new hopes and new opportunities. In particular, I truly will carry this inspiration into my Monet workshop.

In essence, any visitor to Sculpture by the Lakes is left with the experience of walking around a work of art through the sculptures and the environment that truly do exist in a unique symbiotic relationship. The FORM; The Sculpture Show exhibition illuminates this more than ever.

Thank you so much again to Sculpture by the Lakes and Darren Northeast PR for allowing me to attend the FORM; The Sculpture Show exhibition.

I truly can’t wait to re-visit this idyllic treasured spot in Dorset soon to bathe in the creativity this tranquil spot is so stimulating and invigorating for.

How many of you have been to Sculpture by the Lakes? What are your thoughts about the relationship between art and nature? I’d love to know by chatting in the comments below!

With love and infinite blessings,

Georgie xoxo

Future and Upcoming Events at Sculpture By The Lakes

There is always something going on at Sculpture By The Lakes.

If you’re in Dorset, I do hope you’ll be able to visit this wonder-filled location on your doorstep!

For those venturing from further afield, here are some of my top picks to explore later this year.

To mark the dates in your diary, click here or see below for some of my highlighted picks for my enchanted audience:

  • Wellbeing By The Lakes: Wellbeing By The Lakes is a 3-day festival exploring what it means to be mindful and how to live well in this fast-paced modern world. These 3-days of mindfulness are a curated blend of experts talks, meditation, movement sessions, art, live performance and healing therapies that will open your eyes to fresh experiences for wellbeing. Truly, for two years now this has been one of my favourite 3 days of the year! Click here to read about my experience


Sculpture by the Lakes is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Book tickets in advance here.

Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8QU


An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his language.

-Henry Matisse

Share and Enjoy !

Whimsical 2020 Gift Guide: Dorset Based Businesses

Whimsical 2020 Gift Guide: Dorset Based Businesses

Welcome to the Georgie xoxo Whimsical 2020 Gift Guide!

Over the next few posts, I’m excited to bring you a variety of whimsical treasures that are from a variety of breathtaking small businesses and individuals.

Today I’m sharing my favourite Dorset based businesses as not only is this the place that I was born and raised, but it’s also held me in these past few months since the Covid Pandemic.

With this newfound love and respect for my home surroundings, allow me to share with you the local talent here that enchants the world beyond the county edges.

If you’re looking for even more Dorset companies to shop with this Christmas my Dorset archives can be found here.

Enjoy enchanted soul! Please be sure to let me know what products and businesses you love in the comments below.


I have something very exciting for my dearest Beauxoxo fans today. As some of you may know, I decided to part with my beloved hair accessory business last year due to ill health. The full heart-riff and story is here.

But today I have some good news as this year I had a chance to sort out my studio and upload my leftover stock. This means that I have updated my Etsy right here full of everything I have left of this journey. I hope you cherish any of these limited edition treasures as much as I did making them!

Click here to Shop

Delicious Bits Jewellery

Delicious Bits in Wimborne, Dorset, are the creator of gorgeous clay jewellery and I’m so smitten for these hearts and stars gold hoops

Every single clay heart earring is made individually from beige coloured polymer clay that has then been hand-painted with black acrylic spots on one side with a gold flash at the bottom and gold acrylic paint on the reverse.

These would be perfect stocking fillers for your loved ones, or a much deserved treat for yourself!

Click here to Shop

The Happy Blossoms

When I’m ill in bed, there’s nothing that brings me more comfort than having a gorgeous bloom of flowers to look at. Of course, the only problem is that they don’t last forever. So, this year, I purchased this everlasting bouquet of beautiful dried flowers by the wonderful The Happy Blossoms who are based in Poundbury, Dorchester.

This bunch is inspired by the magic of the changing seasons and the soft glow of light as dusk lifts. With soft and calming addition look and feel, it even contains sprigs of dried lavender which is proven to have calming properties.

The bunches feature a mixture of dried and preserved flowers that have been painted, dyed or are natural in colour and the result is so very whimsical!

Click here to Shop

Stag + Seer

If I received something from the wondrous world of Stag + Seer for Christmas I would be so over the moon!

Stag + Seer is the creation of Natalie who birthed this magical business in the winter of 2019, in her enchanting little storybook village of Milton Abbas in Dorset. 

After having lived in Los Angeles the previous 10 years, studying various healing modalities and experimenting with creating her own holistic products, Natalie just knew that her creations couldn’t truly be fulfilled until she arrived in the UK.

Stag + Seer is a true apothecary of deeply potent products concocted with every single beautiful element from Mother Earth.

One of my favourite products is ‘The Healer’ balm. This multi-purpose skin aid, suitable for an array of conditions such as minor cuts, burns, bug bites, rashes and tattoo aftercare is the love your skin will want in a time of need. Perfect for yourself or a deeply loving gift to your cherished ones.

Click here to Shop

To Be Adorned Shop

How darling are these retro sparkle pegdolls by To Be Adorned Shop? These handmade dolls are lovingly created with secondhand fabrics (including some couture bridal offcuts) and vintage haberdashery for true eco Christmas chic. 

These glitzy, sparkly dolls are the most whimsical way to adorn your Christmas tree for all that glittery wonderment.

Perfect as stocking fillers or a little extra treat for yourself, these dolls are carefully handmade in Bournemouth and plastic-free. Pick your doll to have either blue, pink or platinum blonde hair.

For a totally wondrous one-of-a-kind gift, why not take advantage of the custom option so you can order either a mini-you or mini loved one?!

Click here to Shop

Madre Silver

My blog has always been a sacred place for me to showcase those who have crossed my path both past, present and future with their outstanding creativity and who seek whimsy and wonder as much as I do. One such soul is beautiful Lilly who studied A Level Art with me and also worked at LUSH Cosmetics alongside me in Poole, Dorset.

Lilly is now the creator of her enchanting jewellery company called ‘Madre Silver’ based in Blandford, in the heart of the Dorset countryside.

How beautiful are these whimsical hand-carved creations by Lilly? Handmade with love, these serene jewels are all cast in solid metals, and feature beautiful peaceful moon faces that are so dainty.

One of these treeasures would be such a deeply stunning way to connect with la luna energy.

Click here to Shop

Liv Oliv Nail Polish

Did you know that Dorset had a nail polish creator in their presence? Meet Liv Oliv! These non-toxic and vegan polishes are full of rich jewel tones that are loved by both adults and children alike.

I adore this gorgeous super glossy beautiful Cherry coloured polish with heaps of glitter and iridescent flakes that has been designed to give you, or your little cherubs, some razzle-dazzle over the festive period. Best of all? NO nasties!

A bottle of nail polish homemade in Dorset truly is the perfect treasure to add to a stocking or for secret santa gifts!

Click here to Shop

The Owl & The Apothecary

The Owl & Apothecary create a unique range of wellbeing products designed to help you live a happy, high-vibe life.

Blended and dreamt up in Dorset, I particularly love their expertly blended oil blends. Lovingly created with the purest essential oils, they can help you to balance hormones, stay calm, stress less or boost your energy and lift your mood. In addition, all of their products are also 100% organic, vegan and cruelty-free.

One of my top picks if their Wellbeing The Little Ritual Kit that has been created to bring you (or those you love!) wellbeing, happiness, and all things good.

This magical contains a Wild Smudge Stick to cast out negative energy and bring in a positive healing life force, a Wellbeing Luna Candle to help sit quietly and set clear intentions, an Amethyst Crystal to strengthen intuition & resolve and finally, a Ritual Guide with details on how to safely perform your rituals.

Click here to Shop

Sew Jessalli

No one knows the power of sewing and crafting more than my beautiful friend Sophia Palmer who is the owner of Jessalli, and someone I love very much!

Jessalli is a small business that Sophia has crafted in the heart of Dorset for as many years as I have worked on Beauxoxo, which is how we met!

For many years Sophia has concentrated on a variety of lovingly designed creations with her signature prints, but just last year Sophia opened up a Sewing School in Blandford called ‘Sew Jessalli’. 

I featured Sophia many times on my blog and if you want to read more about her creations my full post is here.

One of my favourite picks? I love the Jessalli Signature Cushion that is hand embroidered with Dorset County themed elements such as traditional Dorset Buttons made for Jessalli.

Click here to shop

Oodlemadoodles Creations

How many of you are planning fans? I adore journalling and this year I have become a bit of a sticker fiend! Enter Oodlemadoodles Creations from Poole in Dorset with their beautiful stickers that are perfect for fellow Planner addicts!

How gorgeous is this Unicorn set? Oodlemadoodles Creations have an abundance of enchanting details that I cannot wait to play with!

Click here to Shop


Miiko Everyday Nourishment is a little bit of magic in the midst of Poole, Dorset, and it’s my favourite place to be!

Miiko aims to provide nutritious, medicinal and lovingly made plant-based food and drinks with environmentally and wellbeing conscious undertones.

As well as deliciously wholesome, beautiful food and drinks, Miiko also boasts a small shop. From crystal healing products to yoga accessories, to plant holders and so much more, you can truly appreciate the wonders and benefits that all of these well-being products can bring to you and your loved ones.  

Click here to Shop

Fox and Willow Candles

Based in Ferndown Dorset are Fox and Willow Candles who are the creator of these luxury candles that are a perfect gift for all this Christmas.

This utterly indulgent scent of perfectly paired Apple and Cinnamon is perfect to have in your home as you enter into the festivities with a sweet and spicy mix.

These gorgeous candles are either in the Fox and Willow signature rose gold tins, or a limited edition gold tin with vegan, biodegradable and recyclable labels.

Click here to Shop

Charlotte Miller Ceramics

Squeeee just how cute is this adorable guinea pig bauble? This adorable guinea pig is wearing a party hat and would be suitable to display all year round to bring some joy to your everyday.

These guinea pig baubles are hand-modelled from stoneware clay and painted in under glaze by Charlotte Miller in her Dorset-based ceramics studio. The guinea pig has a gloss finish and hangs by a red and white string from a metal hook in its back.

Click here to Shop


How gorgeous are these enchanted stunning Dorset based businesses? Is there anything else you’re going to either treat yourself to or a loved one? Please show every single one all your support in any way you can.

Wishing you a beautiful festive season full of all the traditions and things that you hold dear.


Pin Me For Later….

Share and Enjoy !

Dorset Arts Festival at Sculpture By The Lakes [AD Press Trip]

Dorset Arts Festival at Sculpture By The Lakes [AD Press Trip]

This review of Sculpture by the Lakes is so kindly courtesy of Darren North East PR

A visit to Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset is always a peaceful and inspirational experience so if you add to the landscape many local artists, you create a vibrant buzzing atmosphere of creativity and talent.

Last year, in September, I spent a wonderful day at Sculpture by the Lakes for Wellbeing By The Lakes, a 3-day wellness festival. This was truly one of my highlights of last year so it was so lovely to be able to return this year albeit with the world feeling very different from last year.

Most recently, my visit was thanks to both Sculpture by the Lakes and Darren Northeast PR to attend the Dorset Arts Festival.


Since their re-opening on June 3rd of this year since the Covid-19 lockdown, Sculpture by the Lakes offers local visitors a safe escape and a warm welcome with the much-needed experience of being surrounded by nature and beauty once again.

The Dorset Arts Festival is one of the very few events that was able to be hosted this 2020 year. The intention of the event was to celebrate a small showcase of the best artists and makers in Dorset.

Across the vast, tranquil landscape of Sculpture by the Lakes over 50 artists and crafters gathered together to demonstrate their skills.

The Dorset Arts Festival was a beautiful opportunity to witness paintings being created beside the lakes, to pots being thrown in other spots, to watch baskets being weaved, and a whole range of other arts and crafts disciplines being demonstrated at a social distance.

The aim of the festival was to see artists and crafters from a variety of creative backgrounds to demonstrate their skills and exhibit their work so you can see and understand the process. 

Sculpture by the Lakes is a 26-acre sculpture park, created by the renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon.

The concept behind Sculpture by the Lakes was to showcase inspiring works of art in a naturally beautiful setting as opposed to the artificial constraints of a gallery with its enclosed spaces.

What makes Sculpture by the Lakes so special is that each sculpture has been meticulously positioned in just the right place in the grounds to enhance the aesthetic qualities of each piece.

Any visitor is left with the experience of walking around a work of art as the sculptures and the environment exist in a unique symbiotic relationship.

It is little wonder therefore that it has become a magnet for creative talents and artists to come to enjoy the peace and tranquillity and to be inspired.

Normally there are numerous classes to nurture the creativity of novices and experienced artists alike however these are currently postponed due to Covid-19.

In normal times, work is exhibited from various artists in the on-site gallery, and themed events such as Wellbeing By The Lakes that draw huge crowds. As a result of current events, sadly the 2020 festival has had to be cancelled this year.

Due to its more modest size, thankfully the Dorset Arts Festival was able to proceed with ample social distancing and hand sanitizers we all take for normal now.

One of the many quotes I spotted around the grounds (in the above photo) was incredibly pertinent to this event: “Use what talents you possess, the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best”.

Creativity in all its forms can be something sacred to lean into, no matter how crowded we believe the arena to be.

Learning a new craft and creative hobby isn’t just fun at the best of times, it can also be the solace we need in these uncertain times as a deep practice of mindfulness.

Here are some of just some of the artists I witnessed that struck a chord in particular.

Dorset Buttons and Textile Artist Anna McDowell

One of the first crafts to capture my attention was textile artist Anna McDowell whose work exhibits the Dorset Button Industry by Henry’s Buttons.

Dorset button is a style of craft-made button originating in Dorset.

The manufacture of Dorset Buttons was at a peak between 1622 and 1850, after which they were overtaken by machine-made buttons from factories in the developing industries of Birmingham and other growing cities.

Like so many heritage crafts and skills, information on how to make Dorset Buttons was passed down from generation to generation and this cottage industry would impact the lives of hundreds of families in Dorset for more than 200 years.

It was so wonderful to meet Anna and learn more about this fascinating heritage craft with such poignant links to the landscape it was being exhibited in.

The precision and detail in each and every single Dorset Button is so spectacular. I was in such awe of the myriad of effects that can be created.

In 2017, the Heritage Crafts Association included Dorset Button making as one of their list of endangered heritage crafts and I am so passionate to learn how to create some of my own after this event.

If you’d like to find more about Dorset Buttons and download some templates of your own, click here.

Times To Treasure Silverclay Jewellery

The next stall I visited was the Silverclay jewellery collection from Times To Treasure by Grainne.

Silverclay is a wonderfully versatile substance that is relatively new to the field of jewellery making. And one that has truly sparked curiosity for me!

It is a simple material to use and because of that, it enables people to make beautiful jewellery without many years of training as silversmiths!

Silverclay consists of minute particles of pure silver mixed with a non-toxic organic binder, which binds the silver particles together to form a clay-like substance. In this clay form, it can be manipulated just like normal clay.

As Grainne demonstrated, the clay can be rolled, flattened, cut with a blade, pressed into moulds or impressed with shapes and textures. There were many examples on the Times To Treasure stall and I loved the dainty star earrings in little jars.

After Silverclay has been left to dry it is fired (either in a kiln or with a simple gas torch) which turns it into pure silver. 

The whole process of witnessing the magic behind Silverclay has only made me want to dive into this craft even more!

Moreover, because the end product is pure silver, Silverclay can be used in the same way as any other precious metal. So it can be filed, sanded, textured, burnished and polished.

I can’t wait to explore Silverclay in more detail and it was so wonderful to see the demonstrations from Grainne. 

Click here to find more about Silver Clay Workshops in Dorset.

The Mouse Hole Woolery

The next stall that truly captured my heart and imagination was The Mouse Hole Woolery who is the maker of needle felted animal sculptures inspired by the animals, landscape and conservation of the British Countryside.

​The ethos of The Mouse Hole Woolery is: “Take time for yourself, connect with the raw materials and create your own individual piece of nature.”

As we all find ourselves spending more time in our homes, it’s healing for some of us to have ideas to keep us busy and our minds active but also be connected to nature. This is exactly why I was so enamoured by The Mouse Hole Woolery.

Carla Taylor’s majestic animal sculptures at The Mouse Hole Woolery are created using the time-consuming, but most rewarding, process of needle felting.

Needle felting is a craft created where the artist repeatedly stabs at loose wool fibres with a barbed needle where you can then shape, re-shape, and create life-like animals (or other objects) with incredible attention to detail.

Needle felting until not so long ago was a relatively unknown art form, however, it has now become one of the most in-demand crafts.

Carla’s own journey into needle felting was inspired by her Dorset countryside surroundings.

Carla’s partner is a farmer and whilst he was working on a rare breed farm, Carla was helping out get the sheep ready for shearing, and that’s when she fell in love with wool!

Carla recalls how the lanolin felt on her hands and that the textures were fascinating to her.

Now Carla is an official supporter of the Campaign for Wool, where she likes to work closely with local Dorset farmers promoting the use of local and British wool and will often refer to conservation awareness within her sculptures as well as incorporating vintage pieces into her work.

Outside of creating her own spectacular felted creations, Carla also runs a number of workshops throughout the year where you can create your own little piece of nature. I would love nothing more than to attend one as soon as restrictions allow me to do so.

Meanwhile, you can click here to visit The Mouse Hole Woolery workshops page for more information on the classes and products that she offers.

Raffia Craft by Clairedoescraft

Finally, we have the beautiful timeless work of Rafia Craft by Clairedoescraft.

Raffia is the most sustainable type of palm known to hat and accessories makers. The palms on this tree can grow from 60 to 80 feet and can be harvested without damage to the plant itself.

Claire first began working with raffia in 1993. Since then, Claire has expanded her craft by creating a range of bags and kits to make your own raffia products. 

Straw hats and bags are a common sight in the summer period, especially in our high street shops, but seeing first-hand the artistry of how they are made has made me want to explore this craft more deeply.

Moreover, it was so important for me to witness how important it is to find sustainable alternatives to the high-street models and raffia is a fascinating medium to work with.

As well as these beautiful products of raffia on display, from bags to hats, Claire is also the author of ‘Raffia: The Arts of Crafts’, the complete guide to working with raffia.

In this book, Claire offers different dyeing and colouring methods and plaiting and sewing techniques for a variety of items such as sun hats, dried flower baskets, candlestick holders and picture frames. What a dreamy project for the summer this would be!

Click here to find out more about Claire’s book and products.

Whilst this year’s Dorset Arts Festival event had to take place against the background of a global pandemic that has changed our lives for now and possibly in some ways forever, it still remained so special.

During this period, many of us have reignited, or perhaps found for the first time, the pleasures associated by awakening our hidden creativities and the advantages that this brings to our wellbeing.

The Dorset Arts Festival, that was located at Sculpture by the Lakes, provided the perfect oasis for artists and art lovers and as another of the quotations from the gardens says: “Time spent in nature heals your Body, Mind and Spirit”. How true this is.

Thank you so much again to Sculpture by the Lakes and Darren Northeast PR for allowing me to attend the Dorset Arts Festival.

I will certainly be revisiting this idyllic treasured spot in Dorset soon with my journal or sketchbook to bathe in the creativity this tranquil spot is so stimulating and invigorating for.

How many of you have been to Sculpture by the Lakes? How have you been nourishing your creativity whilst in lockdown? Have you ever tried any of the above crafts? I’d love to know by chatting in the comments below.


Sculpture by the Lakes is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Book tickets in advance here.

Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 8QU

Click here for more information about Sculpture By The Lakes

Share and Enjoy !

Community Resources and Help in Dorset during the Corona Virus

Community Resources and Help in Dorset during the Corona Virus

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has

Dearest friends, I wanted to start this post with a favourite quotation of mine by Margaret Mead (1901-1978).

It is a very powerful statement in these uncertain times we are facing that reminds us that each of us can help to change the world if we come together in our communities and focus our energies together.

I have no doubt that this will bring us closer together on a global scale that we haven’t seen for a very long time. But at this moment, with so much interconnectedness online, I want this post to focus on community in my local area of Dorset and the goodness that is happening all around me.

Ultimately I wanted to create something not-too-overwhelming and supportive for you my local community to utilise during this time.

We often think, “What can I do as one person?” but we should never doubt our capacity to make a difference in this world, even if it is one person at a time. Even like me if it is necessary to social-distance for the foreseeable future I believe we can all make the smallest amount of distance together.

Before I finish this post with the resources I have found within my local part of Dorset I just wanted to remind you all that there is strength in all of this, whether we can see it or not yet.

I’m sending you endless amounts of love, grace, ease and resilience during this intense time. I hope you are healthy and well and staying calm.

If you need help, ask for it. If you can help, be of assistance. If you have money to spend, support the people who need it now. I’ll be updating this post as often as I hear new information.


Dorset Food & Drink Resources

Almond & Co

The wonderful Almond & Co, a package-free shop in Westbourne I have blogged about here, are now offering deliveries and collections so they can reach more people who may be vulnerable or in self-isolation. Customers will be able to contact them to place an order either by their new phone line 01202 280303 or via email Deliveries will be made Mondays and Fridays around the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area and will cost £5. Collections will allow customers to drop off containers at the store which will be sanitised and refilled by their staff. This is to reduce customer contact with the store. A product list can be found here. You can also find Almond & Co on Facebook here for further information.

Mad Cucumber

My favourite eatery in the whole of Dorset and beyond Mad Cucumber (again, blogged about them here) have been working on Click &Collect and delivery options for the past few days and it is up and running! You can place an order on our website and pick it up later on. The method for delivery is described on the website so please read carefully right here. They will also be changing their opening hours so for that and everyone else find out more here.

Twelve Eatery

One of my favourite vegan restaurants in the world Twelve Eatery in Bournemouth is limiting their reservations to 50% capacity to allow for their new table spacing in the restaurant as part of the restaurant ‘social distancing’ measurements. However, they are offering a 20% discount price on all our takeaways for collection so you can still enjoy their food at home with your loved ones. They are also offering a 10% discount on every Gift Card purchase for you to use in the future. Here’s my post all about Twelve and why I love them so much. Click here for more information about their offers.

Deli-licious Dorset

I spotted on a Dorset food community that the lovely Deli-licious Dorset are happy to deliver to customers and local people with ready-made meal boxes, fresh, frozen or hot meals available. They can also supply milk, eggs and bread, cheeses, cold meats and a range of meat pies, veggie and vegan pies. Deliveries are free of charge. Their service is especially beneficial to people who cannot access online deliveries from supermarkets. For additional information call them on 01425 540072 or 07760 457770. Find Deli-licious Dorset on Facebook here.


For an authentic Moroccan dining experience in Dorset look no further than Makla in Southbourne’s high street, just a short trip from the centre of Bournemouth. I’ve just reviewed this wonderful spot here but I am since so happy to tell you all that Makla are offering home delivery and take-away systems during these times. Click here to find out how to order for home delivery with the latest information on their Facebook page.

Guildhall Tavern Poole

The Guildhall Tavern in Poole is also offering high-quality wine and food to enjoy at home. To place your order for takeaway wine and food, please call 07957503027. The restaurant remains closed but they will arrange collection by appointment. Collection times can be between 10am until 1pm or 6pm until 8pm. A delivery service for addresses within a 5-mile radius from the restaurant is available between 3pm and 5pm. For further information head here.

Pamphill Dairy

I’ve been so saddened to hear about the state of supermarket shopping at the moment. Thus, if you are near to a farm shop this would be the perfect opportunity to support them and consume sensibly. The wonderful Pamphill Dairy is happy to announce that everything that they sell across their farm shop is available to purchase through home delivery (subject to availability). If you would like to place an order, please call the farm shop on 01202 880618. Delivery will be free for orders over £20 and they will take card payment over the phone when you place your order. Head here for more information.

Nativ Bournemouth

The wonderful Nativ in Bournemouth is loved for their wonderful great quality food and services with very affordable prices as well as authenticity and originality in promoting African culture. Furthermore, they are passionate about engaging and integrating with the local community. As a result, their hugely popular, healthy and affordable buffet meals are available as takeaways to be delivered to customers if they order online via the 3 major online food platforms: Justeat, Deliveroo, and  Ubereat. Find out more about Nativ Bournemouth here.


Yoga Lounge

In addition to their studio offerings, The Yoga Lounge in Bournemouth is working hard right now to bring live-streaming classes direct from the Yoga Lounge to your living room by the end of this week. As a result you’ll be able to stay part of our wonderful community as they work, stretch and inspire each other in a new way. You can also join Lucy for 90 minutes of Bikram Yoga⁠ starting Saturday 21st March at 10am and ongoing until further notice (weather dependant). If this is something that interests you the meeting spot is right under Boscombe Pier. Please wear warm layers and bring a mat as we space ourselves out on the beach in the fresh air. Their studio classes will also continue to run as normal and they continue to maintain an exceptionally high standard of hygiene and a warm and friend sanctuary to escape the madness and keep the mind and body healthy.⁠ For more information about the Yoga Lounge head right here.

Conker Gin Hand Sanitiser

The genius creatives at Conker Gin have made hand sanitiser from the waste ‘heads’ of our gin production. From the end of this week, as I write this post, they will start to distribute these to their wine shops, bars and restaurants. They are also currently working on producing this for our wider community. Particularity the most vulnerable who desperately need it: care homes, schools and the elderly etc. And this is not something they are profiting from. Click here for more information from Conker Gin.

Emma Hairdressing

Emma, local Poole based hairdresser who with the upcoming school closures, is welcoming children into her salon. They have two tablets with kids YouTube, colouring books, children’s reading books and a train track to keep the kids occupied while you are having your hair or beauty treatments done. They will also be bringing in a DVD player so if you are bringing your children feel free to bring their favourite DVD to watch. To arrange an appointment with Emma you can call her on 07340 533810.



Nature is so important during this intense time. I was very happy to read that at RSPB Arne, their nature reserves remain open. They hope that visitors will continue to enjoy these amazing places for wildlife while observing physical distancing measures. All car parking charges will be waived so people can enjoy these sites at no cost. For more information head here.

Local Community Support

Lewis-Manning Hospice Care

Whilst people are self-isolating the wonderful Lewis- Manning Hospice Care are encouraging them to Spring Clean their homes and sort out good quality items they no longer need for their hospice shops across the county. This aims to keep people busy, and moreover it will encourage children, youngsters and families to think about others and keep them busy. When it is safe to do so the items can be collected or dropped to the various shops. The Lewis-Manning Hospice Care charity help patients with life-limiting illness, the local community and the vulnerable with their services. The hospice remains open with staff working a rota system to reduce staff contact, the nurses and clinical teams are continuing to support the many patients that need 1-2-1 help, at the hospice for urgent lymphoedema clinics. They are also supporting them by phone, skype, facetime with regards to all other services, as well as going out into the community when patients need them and they are making visits at home. For more information about the endless amazing ways Lewis-Manning Hospice Care are helping the local community head here.

PRC Streamline Taxis

The lovely team at PRC Streamline Taxis are offering special rate taxis and very special rates for delivery and collection services so they can help the local people get food and the local businesses survive. For more information head here.

Click here for the Help and Kindness support page within the Dorset area. Help from Dorset Mind. There’s also a Facebook group here.

Share and Enjoy !

Renaissance Spa Treatment at Lush Spa, Poole [AD Press Trip]

Renaissance Spa Treatment at Lush Spa, Poole [AD Press Trip]

This review of the Renaissance Spa treatment is so kindly courtesy of Lush Spa Poole

The latest treatment to sweep into the Lush Spa in all its mysticism and magic is the Renaissance treatment: a sensory experience in scent and sound. 

This enchanting treatment from the Lush Spa works to calm and bring your body back to balance, with an interactive perfume experience that uses music, massage, humoral theory, and taste to bring the scents to life.

The Lush Spa’s new Renaissance treatment has been inspired by the medicinal use of perfume and the art and culture of Renaissance Italy. 

In this 40 minute treatment, your mind, body and soul will relive the magic of the alchemists and apothecaries that resided in Florence during the Renaissance. 

As you follow in the historical footprints of Catherine de Medici and René le Florentin to Florence, Italy, your mind and body will experience the following:

SEE candles flicker, drawing you in, then helping you escape.

HEAR the sound of Renaissance-inspired music and words of affirmation to guide you as you meditate into deep relaxation and a new temperament.

TASTE your bespoke perfumed drink to complete your meditative journey.

FEEL restored and renewed; in tune with yourself after this reflective, calming experience.

SMELL the bespoke fragrances layer upon one another, keeping you present, then bringing you back into balance.

After your Renaissance Spa treatment, you’ll be left with a sense of:

In Perspective

Mind Cleansed



As Lush Spa Treatment Developer, Hannah-Rose Lammiman, explains:

“Renaissance features bodywork used in different cultures, traditions and rituals from all over the world. We have tapped into these energetic traditions to enhance the experience for the client.”

The History of Perfume in Florence in the Renaissance

The Renaissance is a period of history in the early years of the 15th century in Florence.

During the Early Renaissance, the first part of this period of time, Florence is actually not a city in the unified country of Italy, as it is now. Instead, Italy was divided into many city-states (Florence, Milan, Venice etc), that each had their own government.

Florence is a city redolent with a history that was not only the roots of the Renaissance period but is also the home of David, a superb architectural landscape, unmatched artistic legacy, and timeless beauty. 

The city of Florence flourished during the Renaissance under the Medici family. One of the key industries driving this expansion was perfume-making.

Renaissance Treatment Part 1: Humoral Theory

The Lush Renaissance treatment is based upon humoral theory, which was once very much in favour among scholars and medics of the Renaissance period, believing it to restore the essential balances necessary for a life well-lived.

Humoral theory, also known as humorism or the theory of the four humours, was a model for the workings of the human body.

It was systemised in Ancient Greece, although its origins may go back further still. The theory was central to the teachings of Hippocrates and Galen and it became the dominant theory in Europe for many centuries. 

In this theory, humours existed as liquids within the body and were identified as blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile. These were in turn associated with the fundamental elements of air, water, earth and fire. 

Moreover, each of the humours was associated with a particular season of the year, during which too much of the corresponding humour could exist in the body. For example, blood was associated with spring.

A good balance between the four humours was essential to retain a healthy body and mind, as imbalance could result in disease. 

The treatments for disease within humoral theory were concerned with restoring balance and this is exactly what the Renaissance treatment seeks to do.

Humoral Theory
Humoral Theory lush renaissance treatment
renaissance treatment by lush spa poole humoral theory

Using the principles of this theory in this treatment, to begin, my lovely therapist sat me at the Lush Spa kitchen where a square black scarf was placed in front of me, with a candle lit in the middle. 

She then asked me to take my time and choose the corner of the scarf that drew me to it the most, and especially how I had felt over the last year. There are four corners and each makes up one of the four temperamental personality types. 

Most individuals tend to have aspects of their personality which identify with each of the four temperaments. However, there are usually one or two primary temperaments that are displayed at a significantly higher level. An individual could be any combination of the following four types. 

I was immediately captured by the ‘HOPE’ section with the word itself so much of how I have led my life this year, but also because the words ‘imaginative’ and ‘playful’ caught my heart as they are two huge essences of my character. 

However, because I chose ‘HOPE’ my therapist said I needed to work on the opposite word which was ‘MASTERY’, the opposite of hope. 

She explained that hope is how I want to be, but that mastery feels important to work with to heal elements of my personality. So my treatment was ‘MASTERY’. 

Underneath ‘MASTERY’ was ‘Melancholic’ the name of the personality type. These individuals tend to be analytical and detail-oriented, and they are deep thinkers and feelers which is absolutely me. 

Furthermore, they are introverted and try to avoid being singled out in a crowd. Also me! A melancholic personality leads to self-reliant individuals who are thoughtful, reserved, and often anxious. Tick, tick, tick. 

Finally, they often strive for perfection within themselves and their surroundings, which leads to tidy and detail-oriented behaviour. Perhaps not the tidy part, but most certainly detail-oriented! 

Following the humoral theory analysis, I was matched to a perfume from the new Lush perfume library collection. My fragrance to match my personality was ‘Nero’ a woody fragrance with the depths of petitgrain that smoulder, fusing with the bright citrus notes of bergamot and neroli that is deeply uplifting.

The Renaissance Treatment Part 2: Massage

I’m then led to a beautifully zen treatment room lit with artistic Renaissance esque-candles brimming with ambiance and heady aromas. 

My lovely therapist then sprinkles the bed with a powder, scented with the base notes of your chosen fragrance. For me, this was a dousing of dreamy, comforting Petitgrain oil. Historically, Petitgrain essential oil has been used for cleaning purposes and it has been used internally to support healthy immune system and nervous system function. 

Once I was nicely aligned and settled my therapist masterfully selects the perfect reflex points of my body to focus on and release emotions. 

This started with Alexander Technique practices, a system that works to promote well-being by retraining one’s awareness and habits of posture to ensure minimum effort and strain.

This technique was utilised through towels and enabled you to be more mindful of your body and your movements.

Whilst my therapist worked on my body in this way, she softly read aloud the words associated with my humour personality for me to meditate on whilst the treatment was ongoing.

This was followed by an incredible guided meditation with the physical massage session, all whilst breathing in various fragrances.

My therapist used the massage bar of my given fragrance to work deeply on my neck and head that was completely heavenly.

These days, with many of us spending so much time on our phones or in front of our laptops, a sore neck is by no means an uncommon ailment. This area of my body was holding so much tension and it was so lovingly restored through this treatment and allowed me the rare opportunity to feel like I was deeply grounded.

To finish, my therapist then shares positive affirmations with me, and once again my personally selected words for my personality type are read out, before dousing me in my personal fragrance of ‘Nero’ full of uplifting Neroli and citrus Bergamot. 

During this treatment, where the fragrance was used to scent the air whilst it wafted over you in a stunning Medieval looking container with dry ice, to having the body anointed with the oils and powder, it meant that the scents gradually layer up throughout the 40 minutes. This deeply enables you to take your mind off any worries you may have. 

The background music for the Renaissance Treatment truly captured my heart, as to me the music of the  Renaissance period is one of the most diverse and exhilarating in the entire history of music. 

All produced exclusively for Lush, it was a soothing, uplifting blend of madrigals and pure singing voices that not only deeply captured the spirit of the age, but took your mind and body outside of itself as if it was soaring to the heavens.

Moreover, it was filled with bird song and modern folk influences to make this soundtrack take anyone spiritually to the frescoed cloisters of Florence, even if you weren’t familiar with the nuances of the music from this period.

Renaissance Treatment Part 3: Perfumed Tea

After the treatment, I met my therapist once more in the Lush Kitchen where she prepared the last piece of delicious sweetness.

This was a warm, nourishing glass of hot water with an addition of a sugar cube that once again, holds the top notes of your chosen fragrance.

Knowing that even tea is able to easily receive aromas was a beautiful way to end this otherwordly multi-sensory experience.

The word renaissance can be literally translated into English as ‘re-birth’ and after experiencing the Renaissance Treatment from Lush you will most certainly feel like a new person. Revived in mind, body and soul.

Lush’s multi-sensory Renaissance Treatment based on the history of fragrance is a massage like no other that will transport you into a world of pure imagination, relaxation, and to the enchanted cultural paradise that is Florence.

If you find Humoral Theory as fascinating as I do, this resource was wonderfully interesting whilst writing this post. Additionally, the history of perfume in Renaissance Italy from Lush is equally inspiring.

Thank you so much to Florence at Lush and the Lush Spa in Poole enough for this experience I will treasure and cherish forever.

How many of you have experienced the magic of the Lush Renaissance Spa Treatment?

There are Lush Spa locations across the country, but I am so thankful to have experienced it in the very place that is the inspiration for all the magic that unfolds in Poole.

If you are interested to learn more about the new Renaissance Spa Treatment that follows the opening of the Lush Perfume Library in Florence- the birthplace of modern perfumery during the Renaissance- then you can head here.

If you enjoyed this blog post of the Lush Renaissance Spa Treatment head on over to my review of the Lush Synaesthesia Spa Treatment.


Renaissance Spa Treatment Details

Cost: £75

Duration: 40 minutes


The Lush Spa Poole Details

29 High Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1AB

01202 672217 or email:

Lush Spa Poole Instagram

Click here to book the Renaissance Spa Treatment at Lush Spa

Share and Enjoy !

Makla, Moroccan Restaurant Review, Southbourne, Dorset [AD Press Trip]

Makla, Moroccan Restaurant Review, Southbourne, Dorset [AD Press Trip]

This review of Makla is so kindly courtesy of Makla Restaurant

For an authentic Moroccan dining experience in Dorset look no further than Makla in Southbourne’s high street, just a short trip from the centre of Bournemouth.

From delicious tagines to grills and plenty of sweet tea, Moroccan food encourages you to take your time over it, and Makla is the perfect place to savour it all.

As soon as you step into Makla on Southbourne high street, you truly feel yourself being transported to Morocco.

With colourful bags in sequins and straw detail that hang all around you, to silver teapots that line the high ceilings, to colourful painted tiles, it all gives you an impression of being in a bustling souk in the middle of Marrakech.

The atmosphere in Makla was immediately inviting, exotic, playful and relaxed. The staff could not be more welcoming, and guests are invited to dress in Fez hats that are placed on all of the tables if they please!

Mezze Platter

A typical Moroccan meal is made up of cold salads for starters, followed by tagine and couscous topped with vegetables or meats and usually includes tea and pastries.

So before all of the above, we selected the mezze sharing platter to start as it is an ideal way to sample all the very best of Moroccan cuisine.

Makla’s mezze platter included hummus, baba gannoush, tabouleh, falafel, pickles and flatbread to enjoy it all with.

This was the perfect way to start a Moroccan meal with a lovely, ample portion size that didn’t overwhelm small appetites but presented all the very best elements of Moroccan cuisine.

My favourite was the hummus that was delicate and yet deeply rich at the same time. The tabouleh was also just such a fresh accompaniment that I could have eaten all day alone!

Moroccan Tagine

Makla offers a variety of main courses from Moroccan cuisine and we both couldn’t resist the wholesome tagine.

A tagine is a Maghrebi dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked.

Think of a Moroccan tagine in particular as a succulent, slowly simmered stew. One that truly is one of my favourite dishes in the whole entire world!

Traditionally, a tagine is cooked in a clay (or ceramic) pot like this one pictured below from Makla, that is wide at the bottom and topped with a narrow, cone-shaped cover.

Underneath the cone, my lovely waitress at Makla unveiled a steaming, warm nourishing dish, with any further warmth or moisture gently trickling down to the sides and back into the dish.

I picked Makla‘s Vegan Beber chickpea Tagine that is topped with pan-fried vegetables that included carrots, asparagus, sweet potato and more.

This hearty vegan-tagine had a luxurious balance of sweet and savoury flavours, coupled with the intensity of spices that truly set this vegetable tagine apart from your average stew.

Every single mouthful was as nourishing as the next and it truly is the best tagine I have ever experienced!

My Dad enjoyed Makla‘s Lemon Chicken & Olive Tagine. This hearty dish is made with marinated chicken with preserved lemons and green olive sauce. A chicken tagine is one of the best known and loved tagines along with Lamb.

Each tagine at Makla is accompanied with either rice, couscous or flatbread. We both picked flatbread because there’s nothing more satisfying than soaking up every single last drop of this magical mouth-watering dish than with some homemade Moroccan bread!

Moroccan Tea and Pastries

The perfect Moroccan feast is finished with tea and traditional pastries and at Makla you will find both.

During my time in the UAE in February, I got so used to dining in Moroccan restaurants and enjoying these pastries as often as possible!

I’m beyond delighted that Makla are bringing these sweetest treats to Bournemouth for so many others to now enjoy!

Alongside Makla‘s pastries, we sipped Moroccan Orange Blossom tea with traditional pastries and sweets.

The Moroccan sweets that Makla served were a variety of flaky pastries, rich cakes and sticky sweets that were filled with oh so decadent flavours of pistachios, dates and pomegranates.

To complement the above, Makla serves two traditional teas to finish: mint or orange blossom. We picked orange blossom as it’s so different from the norm!

Plus, with orange blossom’s soothing properties, historically having been used to treat indigestion and stomach ailments, it was the perfect tea to finish a meal.

The orange blossom tea contained just the right amount of sweetness for me but additional sugar was supplied for those with a super sweet tooth!

Moroccan Decor

After the meal, we had some time to discover the downstairs of Makla, that transported you even more deeply to Morroco.

With its deep blue walls, burnished gold and silver mirrors, bags cascading down the walls and tiled centrepiece, it truly felt like stepping into a Souk.

With Moroccan-style, low slung sofas and cushions that are scattered throughout, you can hire this downstairs area for exclusive events as you feast on tagines, mezze and more with a full bar.

Makla is entirely rooted in the traditions of Moroccan cooking and culture which is evident through its rich deep flavours in the dishes, to the richness of the decor.

If you’re looking for an authentic haven of Moroccan culture in Dorset, that’s full of freshness, from the teas to the tagines, then I couldn’t recommend a visit to Makla more.

How many of my Dorset readers have visited Makla? And for the rest of my readers, who adores Moroccan cuisine as much as me?

Find out more about Makla here

Share and Enjoy !